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Top 3 Best Life Coach Certification Programs

by Jill

In today’s busy and modern world, life coaching has become a huge phenomenon, and it’s not hard to see why. With all the challenges presented by modern technology and increased demands on the workforce, life coaches serve to help us navigate a chaotic world.

Unlike other similar professions, life coaches adjust to your personal vision of the business you have dreamed of building. Best of all, coaching services can be remote; you can meet and work with your clients via phone and the internet, right in the comfort of your own home.

By now, you’ve probably done a lot of research about life coaching and decided that you want to become certified. In your research you will have learned that it’s very important for your business success and your reputation that you become a certified coach. So, with that in mind, let’s discuss the best life coach certification programs out there.

What Criteria Should I Be Looking For?

  • Location is important, although do remember that life coaches can be accessed by their students almost anywhere via distance learning options.
  • Ensure that your program is flexible enough to suit your lifestyle – take into account whether you also work, in or out of the home.
  • Can you complete your course, at least part of it, through distance learning? In today’s world distance learning is very common, and desirable to a lot of students.
  • Does your life coach program provide a wide choice of courses to choose from? In addition you will need a lot of support, both during and after your course is completed, so ensure that the program you decide to go with has a strong focus on support.
  • Do you know exactly what you’re paying for? Are your costs all-inclusive, and are you aware of what this covers?
  • Have you researched the school you have decided to go with and checked their reputation, as well as their representation in the wide world of life coaching?

Listed below are three notable schools that meet all the above criteria. Keep in mind that there are many more that are well-worth mentioning, however these three schools will give you a good start in your research.

Coaches Training Institute

This Institute has arguably one of the best known training programs in the coaching industry, largely because they’ve been running these programs for more than twenty years. A whopping 35,000 coaches have completed their program since the Institute was founded. The ICF was created largely by the founders of CTI, and these same people contributed to the ICF competencies and ethics. In fact, the CTI was the very first training school to receive ICF certification. Co-Active Coaching was also written by the founders of the CTI program, and this is widely used by other training programs and coaches. Locations include Singapore, Canada, and thirteen United States locations in major metro areas.

The CTI program teaches the proprietary Co-Active Model, knowing that students possess the knowledge of what is best for them. The role of the coach is to be authentic, encouraging, to listen intently, and to help their students rise to their highest natural state. The trainers at CTI are well-respected and leading coaches in their field, ensuring a high standard in the coaching profession. Their training approach includes extensive in-person coaching, marketing and business support, professional practicum for certification, followed by ongoing support for students after graduation.

The course at CTI consists of five in-person courses, with a certification program to follow. The courses are face-to-face from Friday to Sunday. Once these courses are completed and the student has attracted five paying customers, they are then eligible to enroll in the certification program. This includes one-on-one supervision with a dedicated coach in order to refine and deepen their coaching skills. The certification process is done by phone and takes six months. Once both these components have been completed, the student must take both an oral exam and a written exam in order to receive their certification. The complete process will take roughly twelve months and the cost of same is in the vicinity of $10,000 – $12,000, dependent upon, of course, on how the program is undertaken. Courses can be purchased a-la-carte, but will be more expensive this way.

Have a look at their website, or give them a call for further information and for specific pricing structures.

Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)

iPEC is one of the top coaching schools in the United States, standing out from other training programs because of its successful track record in the coaching industry. Its training process and philosophy are second to none. Located in New Jersey, with training locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, fourteen of these locations are in metro areas in the United States.

At iPEC most of the training is completed by phone and online, with three modules of three days duration each completed face-to-face on-site at the training locations. This provides greater flexibility and ease for students, as well as facilitating personal contact with coaches and peers.

iPEC was founded by Bruce D Schneider, PhD and MCC, and it was his work that founded the experiential approach to training. The proprietary methods used at iPEC include the Core Energy Dynamics TM and the Core Energy Coaching TM process, both of which were created by Schneider. Coach trainees at iPEC can specialize in business, life, executive, and career coaching, plus a range of sub-specialties within each category.

Some of the iPEC coach training components include –

  • There are three face-to-face modules, including a number of virtual education modules, making up a total of more than 350 hours.
  • Each trainee has their own Mentor Coach to help with the development of their skills.
  • There’s a peer and business support program, extending beyond completion of the program.
  • While in this niche-based training program, there are nine options to choose from while in training.

The iPEC training program has been fully accredited since the year 2002, so it’s not new to the ICF. Once the program is completed, successful participants become Certified Professional Coaches, fully accredited and recognized by the ICF.

Costing for this program is $9,895.00 all inclusive. This fee covers all mentor coaching, instruction, and materials. Costs for lodging, food, travel, phone calls etc. are covered by the student. When doing research on training schools, keep an eye open for any specials being offered, because sometimes tuition specials can be found.

Coach U

This is another well-known and successful coaching school, founded in 1992. Coach U has been a leader in this industry for many years. They have Advanced Coaching Programs which can qualify a student to become an Associate Certified Coach, a Professional Certified Coach, or a Master Certified Coach, all through the ICF.

This is a virtual training program, meaning that students complete 100% of their training via distance learning. This is very important, because it caters to many differing schedules and lifestyles, and provides ultimate flexibility for students. Coach U training is for those people who desire to seek a career in corporate or life coaching. A student at Coach U focuses on learning specific skills, creating their coaching practice, and combing it all to fit into their personal life or an existing business.

Students must complete 175 training hours in order to graduate and receive their coaching certification. There are two main components to this program – CEP (Core Essentials Program) and ACP (Advanced Coaching Program). The ACP format includes internet-based study and tele-classes, plus weekly conference walls – these are once a week for a period of one hour, lasting for four to eight weeks – fieldwork, reading between weekly phone-calls, email and internet collaboration with trainers, and mentoring by phone. Even the final exam is done via the internet.

This course costs $6,090.00 plus text-books. You can also choose the higher-priced option, also accredited by the International Coach Federation, and this caters to coaches desiring a corporate or executive coaching practice. If you’re looking for total flexibility in training, combined with the knowledge that your school has an impeccable reputation in the industry, then Coach U is a great option.

Conclusion

There are many more really good coaching programs out there: the three mentioned above have wonderful reputations, however, there are a lot more coach training schools that also deserve recognition. Perhaps this short review will give you motivation to do your own research and find the training program that ultimately suits your needs best. You can do a search for accredited programs on the International Coach Federation’s website.

Ensure that you do your research thoroughly, ask your questions and make sure you get the answers that you need for your own training. The program you choose must reflect your own personal philosophy and style, because each student has different needs. Coaching is a wonderful investment both professionally and personally, so you must be very confident that you have chosen the right program to suit your budget and your time.

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